Release Date: 3/30/2005
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I try to be forgiving with games, but there are some that just can’t be overlooked. Red Ninja is a perfect example that has mechanics that are broken beyond reason or repair. The story is the first thing you will notice that isn’t very interesting. You are trying to stop a rival clan from getting a machine gun blueprint from yours to use to destroy their enemies. The beginning cut scene shows your clan using a machine gun to cut down hordes of samurais. Just one machine gun. After this, your leader tells the man in charge of making it destroy it because it dishonors the rules of engagement. Sure that’s noble, but all this for one stupid machine gun!
You will notice the game is severely flawed in the tutorial. The camera is completely useless, the controls are awkward, the platforming is uncontrollable, and the enemies are stupid as well as generic. The only interesting thing in the whole game is the tetsugen weapon and Kurenai’s panties. The camera is inverted no matter what you do. In the options, you can turn it off, but it becomes inverted vertically instead of horizontally. I constantly had to consciously remember to turn the camera the opposite way I wanted it to go. This is so frustrating during already busted boss fights or when surveying enemy patrols. On top of all this the combat works a little, but needs a lot of work. You can use the tetsugen as a melee weapon or throw it from a distance and slice enemies in half. One awesome feature was being able to run around enemies in a circle while one is tethered and trip them down or cut them in half. Good luck keeping all the enemies focused because of that broken camera.
Secondly is the platforming, this is probably more frustrating than anything because you need to do this to avoid enemy detection. You can shimmy ledges, ropes, wall run, and dash around, but the combination of the camera and the weird controls make it frustrating. Wall running consists of you having to be in a dash while running at a wall. You have to continue running while moving the analog stick in the direction you want Kurenai to run. This is ridiculous and unintuitive. A lot of times I had her bouncing off walls because the camera just couldn’t keep up. Enemies will detect you even when you on rooftops which is weird. Swimming is no better because enemies can always see you and you can only hide underwater while being still. Completely useless. You can use projectiles by picking them up, but aiming them is just too time to consume. There should be some sort of auto-aim for these.
If that isn’t enough for you to stay away I don’t know what will. I got two levels in and just couldn’t take anymore. The camera constantly going berserk and doing its own thing, the stupid AI, weird control scheme, bad platforming, and just overall an unpolished mess. The combat is somewhat saveable, but the camera and controls make this frustrating as well. The game looks pretty good, but in the end, you won’t even care. Not even the sexy seduction kills are enough to save this game. I hope one day this series is revived but needs to be built from the ground up. Just stay away from this pile of garbage.